Apple concedes, discoloration defect

After receiving the run around concerning the discoloration of select MacBooks, I am now pleased to relay the announcement that Apple admits yellowing is indeed a manufacturing defect.

  • May 22nd: Receival of a shiny 2.0GHz white MacBook.
  • June 10th: Subtle yellow hue begins to form which I am unable to cleanse with mild soap and water. I discover a small handful of MacBook users suffer from similar luck.
  • June 14th: Publicly state on support forums that yellow discoloration has appeared in select areas. in search of a remedy, non-acetone nail polish remover is recommended. Red flag: Why in the world should I need to use a chemical created to remove nail polish on a less than one month old MacBook?!
  • June 21st: Receive a ShieldZone Standard kit and apply the protective film to the properly cleansed palm rests and trackpad areas.
  • June 25th: Yellowing forms underneath the ShieldZone kit in an area which was once white prior to film application. I immediately publish my findings in hopes that others may benefit from my experience.
  • June 25th: Apple removes access to support thread which I create concerning the topic. By the end of the evening, Apple has removed the thread completely preventing any futher discussion. Throughout the day, I fall victim to a barrage of emails from Apple fanatics in an attempt to discredit my post.
  • June 30th: Apple admits manufacturing defect.

As stated on June 25th:

If a durable plastic film – similar to the protective film applied to automobiles – can not prevent further discoloration on the plastic shell, the discoloration must be a defect of the manufacturing process. The discoloration is not caused by oil or perspiration.

Apple, to a certain extent, I understand the secrecy and censorship of the forum topics. I am aware of the likelihood that manufacturing defects exist. It’s my understanding that Apple Store reps & Applecare specialists are often left out of the loop concerning such matters (until they are made public). For that matter, I will disregard the attempts of employees to pursuade myself into thinking that the discoloration originated from these very hands.

And to those that believed bloggers were completely midleading, vile, and miscreants in their claims concerning yellowing MacBooks, a hat tip to you all. The voices of 30,000+ “bloggers” and commentors concerning an issue effecting a few thousand spoke louder than nothing at all.

Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. Bruce says:

    It’s a credit to you Derek that you stuck to your guns. Actually, it was your post that gave this whole issue credence for me. We went ahead and ordered one anyway, and I await any sign of discolouration. I can now feel more confident that should it appear, I have a leg to stand on in approaching Apple for a replacement—thanks to you and other bloggers who stood up despite taking a hammering from the disbelievers. So you have my personal thanks.

    The question is, did the one we ordered have the replacement plastic already? It remains disappointing that we have to refer to “reports” of a change in plastics… Apple really should own up and make an official statement. Let’s hope this is forthcoming; it’s the right thing to do.

  2. eric says:

    They couldn’t cover this up forever, they just played the denial card until they had a solution to play. But its good to see them finally man up and fix this shit.

  3. Eli says:

    I’m happy to hear they coughed it up!

    My Apple product woes were temporarily solved yesteday when I got my replacement 30″ ACD without much trouble: 30″ ACD Troubles

  4. Angel says:

    I’m glad that they finally acknowledged there was a problem. Was it really affecting thousands of laptops?

  5. Derek says:

    [quote comment="3923"]I’m glad that they finally acknowledged there was a problem. Was it really affecting thousands of laptops?[/quote]

    Who knows what the real stats are. I doubt anyone will ever figure out. Figuratively speaking, the “thousand” refers to any Apple product users that have been kept out of the loop concerning hardware that was not up to par with expectations.

  6. Montoya says:

    Receival? Reception?

  7. [...] A few days back reports surfaced that Apple did indeed acknowledge that the discoloration on an isolated number of MacBook was due to a manufacturing defect. Upon discovering the news, I immediately phoned Apple with hopes that my once white MacBook would shine bright white as it once did. Naturally, with my luck, I ran into a series of Applecare blocks with the 30 min. conversations summarized below: [...]

  8. Derek says:

    Here’s the – hopefully – final follow-up to the entire ordeal.

  9. [...] MacNN reports that Apple actually is fixing the rampant discoloration issues present on white MacBook laptops. My laptop suffers from this issue, even after I had put an invisible shield on the palm rest. The discoloring stems from a manufacturing defect in the plastic. Apple will replace the top case, presumably free of charge. Hopefully, I will just be able to take it into an Apple store and have the plastic replaced while I wait. Derek has created a nice timeline of his troubling MacBook issues. [...]

  10. [...] One of the other major problems with the MacBook in white has been discoloration. Fellow 9ruler Derek Punsalan has been raising awareness of the issue ever since it happened to him. In his unfortunate case, he went out of his way to cover up his MacBook to prevent discoloration, and was only rewarded with an ugly yellow finish. Do to his campaign against discoloration and the hundreds of bloggers who supported him, I can say that I don’t have the issue at all. Since Apple was made aware of the issue, they have changed the plastic to a much smoother material; one which doesn’t change with time. Since I have a later MacBook build, I have been lucky to get the new plastic and avoid the issue completely. For the unlucky MacBook owners with an ugly top case, Apple is replacing the affected portion with no questions asked, so be sure to get that done. [...]

  11. [...] Sometime late last month, I realized that rants online are noticed. If you’re lucky enough, and a New York Times editor is interested, they’ll stumble upon your post about missing out on this years hard-to-get gaming console and include you in their NYTimes Technology article. It’s a completely different vibe seeing your name printed on actual paper rather than reposted and published / pushed through the inter-tubes. Concerning the brouhaha surrounding the discolored MacBooks, Apple, I still love you. [...]

  12. mike says:

    so will apple fix it or not?

  13. lucy b says:

    the same thing is happening to my new white sony vaio after a week of owning it from new. The rest areas either side of the mousepad and the left mouspad button are yellowing, it’s gross. And the rest areas are not touched by my bare sweaty skin – just clothed wrists. So it can’t be oils in the skin. The left mousepad button being more yellow than the right suggests wear but the biggest patches seem to be located where there is the most heat. Very disappointed, but supposed it’s my own fault for buying a white laptop. Previous black and silver laptops have had similar wear areas and gone greyish and black where they were silver too.

  14. Ashley McCarthy says:

    Alternatively, I get my palm rest protector from skinstyler.com The main reason that I get from them is because they able to personalized it with my name (sort of like laser engraving) instead of brand name on the palm rest. No brainer as they work to prevent discoloration on wrist rest, just stick on and start protect the wrist area. just my 2 cents